Swofford Pond Fishing

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Don’t be fooled by the name. It may be called a pond, and by comparison to neighboring Riffe Lake, perhaps it is.

But at roughly 240 acres, Swofford Pond is really a small lake in its own right, and one with some excellent fishing options.

Swofford Pond is regularly stocked with rainbow trout and channel catfish. There are also resident populations of largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill and brown bullheads.

Swofford Pond Trout Fishing

From about March to May, Swofford Pond is stocked with about 20,000 catchable rainbow trout, so trout fishing here is largely a springtime activity.

Trout are actually planted at the lake by Tacoma Power, the local electric company.

Tacoma Power maintains a toll-free fishing hotline at 888-502-8690.

Fish for trout with a baited hook, often suspended below a simple red-and-white bobber.

Fly fishing is also a popular way to reel in trout, because they feed on insects. They often will take flies on or near the water’s surface.

For more tactics to catch trout, read our article Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.


There have been reports of catfish over 20 pounds being pulled out of Swofford Pond.

Channel catfish have been stocked at Swofford Pond, at least one year reportedly in the realm of 2,000 of the bottom-feeding fish planted into the lake in October.

Catfish stocking isn’t necessarily done on a regular schedule, but authorities keep the fishery going as needed, and it ranks as one of the better catfish fishing holes in Western Washington.

Catfish are famous, or infamous, for eating virtually anything.

Worms work well for bait, just as they do for many other fish. Chicken livers and cut-up fish are also classics for catching catfish.

Really, you can’t go wrong. Just sink that bait down to near the bottom of the lake, keep your line slack and wait.

Catfish tend to be somewhat nocturnal feeders, so fishing at night may offer the best experience.

Catfish can be caught all year but tend to bite most readily in warmer weather.

Pick up more catfish fishing tips and tricks (including top baits).

Bass and Panfish

There have been some legendary largemouth bass catches at Swofford Pond over the years, including at least one 24-incher reeled in back in 2011.

Bass fishing can be highly variable depending on the time of day.

Shore fishing is often quite viable in the morning but becomes an exercise in patience — or futility — by the afternoon.

Bass will retreat into deeper waters as the day progresses. Follow them out onto the lake for the best prospects in the heat of the day.

The typical bass-fishing techniques will get the job done here, and weedless presentations might get the nod later in the year as plants choke up a fair bit of the shallower water.

Several other species of fish inhabit Swofford Pond, including black crappie, bluegill, brown bullheads and yellow perch.

Bass and panfish angling tends to improve by mid-spring and continue good through summer and into the fall before falling off in cold water.

There have even been reports of sturgeon at the lake, although the big, elusive fish are considered rare at best.

Tips for Fishing at Swofford Pond

Fishing is open year-round at Swofford Pond.

Swofford has an unimproved boat launch. Boats with internal combustion engines aren’t allowed on the water, but an electric motor is a good bet.

There is shoreline access at Swofford Pond, off Green Mountain Road on the north side of the lake.

Where is Swofford Pond?

Swofford Pond and its much larger neighbor, Riffe Lake, are located south of U.S. Highway 12 in east Lewis County.

From the west, take exit 68 off Interstate 5 onto Highway 12. By that route, Swofford Pond is about an hour’s drive from Longview or 45 minutes from Chehalis.

From the Seattle/Tacoma area, you can also head south on state Highway 7 and turn onto U.S. Highway 12 in Morton.

From Highway 7, you’ll pass through the community of Mossyrock on your way to Swofford Pond. Follow Mossyrock Road until a right turn onto Swofford Road, and then it’s a left onto Green Mountain Road.

Find more fishing spots in Lewis County

Washington Resources

WDFW Fishing and Stocking Reports
WDFW Fishing Regulations
National Weather Service forecasts